BC Funders Share Tips on Winning Pitches at DOXA Industry

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Tue, 05/07/2019 - 22:13

Documentary funding can be a bit of a black box. Who gets funding and why certain projects get backed while other apparently strong projects are left by the wayside is a reliable topic for heated discussion whenever any two independent producers meet.

The goal posts always seem to be shifting. Funding decisions are inevitably subjective, often political, and producers must chart a route through a seemingly byzantine application process to grasp what looks like an increasingly slender slice of the funding pie.

VIFF 2018 Documentaries - The Serengeti Rules, John McEnroe: In the Realm of Perfection, and Shirkers

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Thu, 10/18/2018 - 13:09

Of the clutch of films - all documentaries - that I saw at The Vancouver International Film Festival there was an impressive range in content and style. I just wish I’d been able to watch more - it wrapped on Friday.

Further to my earlier VIFF documentary reviews, here’s my second set of reviews:

A Climate Scientist Gets Elected. My Risk Pays Off.

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Sun, 06/02/2013 - 12:52

When, on the night of Tuesday 14th May, the results came in for the 2013 election in British Columbia in Canada, it marked the end of what seemed like a very long journey for me.

Around six months earlier, I started documenting University of Victoria climate scientist Andrew Weaver's run for election to the provincial legislature. Initially, Weaver's vocal criticism of Canada's record on climate change was what piqued my interest in his campaign.

Directors Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary on Making Favela Rising

Submitted by Paul Griffiths on Mon, 03/27/2006 - 15:00

U.S. filmmakers Jeff Zimbalist and Matt Mochary found Anderson Sa and Junior Jose bringing about change against all the odds in a true story that galvanises, and humbles, the spirit. After founding the Afro Reggae group, they began to excite their communities with an energetic mix of drumming and dancing that packs a powerful message.

Director Matt Mochary talks here about the logistics of filming in a suburban war-zone on a tight budget, and the inspiration that he and others have gained from the film.

Book review: Get Your Documentary Funded and Distributed

Submitted by Robert Alstead on Sun, 07/24/2005 - 16:00

There's nothing like the fund-raising process to dampen a filmmaker's spirit. Yes, you could just grab a video camera and shoot that doc that's been percolating away all this time, but wouldn't it be nice to be paid to do what you love?

Get Your Documentary Funded and Distributed edited by Jess Search and Melissa McCarthy of the UK filmmaking network Shooting People, is designed to help newcomers navigate the labyrinth of documentary financing and distribution.

Christopher Guest - Making It Up As You Go Along

Submitted by Paul Fischer on Tue, 12/16/2003 - 02:44

LOS ANGELES The secret to mockumentary master Christopher Guest's art is letting the actors do "their thing".

On screen Christopher Guest completely disappears into the world of a Sixties folk-singer making a comeback in his latest ensemble comedy, A Mighty Wind. As hilarious as these films are, Guest doesn't translate on-screen satire into his everyday world. You interview Mr. Guest and you’re meeting a serious artist who happens to poke fun at popular American culture. 

Taking Stock Of Britpop

Submitted by Brian Pendreigh on Sat, 03/01/2003 - 04:19

A new documentary from Oscar-winning producer John Battsek aims to get behind the Britpop phenomenon of the Nineties.

While one rock legend analyses the importance of politics and the class system in his band’s success, his brother emphasises the importance of his hairstyle. Welcome to the world of Noel and Liam Gallagher, the driving force between Oasis, arguably the most important British pop group since the Beatles and stars of a new feature documentary on the phenomena of Britpop and Cool Britannia that helped define the 1990s in Britain. 

With Gun Culture In His Sights

Submitted by Matthew Arnoldi on Tue, 11/05/2002 - 12:21

With the news still fresh in most people’s minds of the horror caused in Washington by a crazed sniper, it seems as if Michael Moore’s hard-hitting Bowling for Colombine has arrived with impeccable timing. 

Documentary filmmaker, fearless campaigner, Michael Moore is America’s answer to Roger Cook, a man who tirelessly asks the right questions to those that expect an easy interview and find themselves on the end of a line of questioning that searingly calls for truth. He’s a man with heart who isn’t afraid to look at the madness in America from a global perspective.